CORVALLIS - It feels like we haven't seen the great potential of Jake Luton just quite yet. The 6'7", 229-pound quarterback has had an injury-riddled career at Oregon State, which has "luckily" granted him a sixth year of college eligibility.
In Luton's words at today's Oregon State football media day, "I came in here and had a lot of big plans and big expectations and those haven't been met so I was lucky enough to get another year and I want to meet all those goals and expectations for myself in this final year. It's my last go-around so I'm ready to go."
In 2017, Luton was carted off the field at Washington State University after taking a scary hit. In 2018's opener at Ohio State University, Luton left the game on concussion protocol after taking another big hit during the first series of the game.
Luton enters 2019 with a fresh mindset. "When I decided I wanted to come back, I made a promise to myself that I was going to do it the right way and do everything I could to get in the right position to be successful and have this team have success. I've never been a guy to love the weight room or working out and it's something that I've tried to really take seriously and pay attention to the things I'm eating and putting into my body… Just trying to be the best leader I can be and not waste any days.
"It's definitely been the best offseason in my career and I couldn't be more excited."
It's safe to say Luton's teammates are excited for him to be back on the field too.
"It's really fun and exciting since he's such a great QB and I think he's really going to take a step this season into being that commanding quarterback and going to lead us into some victories," said DB David Morris.
"Just like myself, he's healthy as well. I'm excited for him to show everybody that. There's been a lot of talk about him being healthy and a lot of talk about him looking a lot different than last year and I can testify to that just by the way we're running, by the way he throws… I'm excited for everybody to see that and for him to prove to everybody he can play," said tight end Noah Togiai.
In 2018, Luton completed 140-of-224 (62.5 percent) of attempted passes for 1,660 yards and 10 touchdowns. A pivotal moment in his collegiate career was leading a 28-point comeback overtime victory at Colorado last season.
While head coach Jonathan Smith has not named a starter with fall camp starting today, Smith is excited for the competition in the quarterback room. Will Luton rise to the top and have that year where he finally meets his goals and expectations?
To repeat his words above, "It's my last go-around so I'm ready to go."
Jake The Old Man Luton is back for his last go-around at Oregon State originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest